Balljoint Failure

Lincoln LS

  1. nghtshd88

    nghtshd88 Well-Known LVC Member

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    So out of no where one of my suspension components took a total crap on me. I started hearing a HORENDOUS squeaking noise like rubber and metal echoing down the road besides some clicks or what kind of sounds like a totally loose endlink. Didnt know what to think at first besides my control arm was falling apart? Ive isolated it to the passenger side but cant tell if its front or rear. Its 10x worse on turns.

    Pretty much sounds like a 20yr old taxi cab with 500k on the original suspension. I have the normal small chirp from the rear lower control arms sometimes but other than that Ive had zero complaints.

    Tried to checking out youtube and my noise is 100% identical to this:

    I dont think a bushing could sound as bad as that or am I wrong? This was pretty instant.

    I had planned to replace all tie rods, endlinks and shocks come spring as well as sway bar bushings but now with 12"+ of snow tmrw dont think thats happening..

    For safety's sake I think I'll have to take my fairly new 5.0 that I just had detailed out into the snow and salt...
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  2. rgorke

    rgorke Well-Known LVC Member

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    What are you doing to make the noise? Turning the steering wheel?

    I think there is a simple ball joint test when you jack up the car. You hold the wheel at 12 and 6, then at 3 and 9 to check for play. Also, bad ball joints usually have a clunk associated with them rather than just a squeak.

    However, please double check with more knowledgeable folks for safety!!!!
     
  3. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    Could be LCA both front and rear get dry rot suggest going with S-Type Black series ...the LS is truly a sexy spoiled woman she needs much attention and pampering
     
  4. Imaskurfer2

    Imaskurfer2 New LVC Member

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    2002 3.9 LSE. Just had the same thing. Squeak was so bad you could hear it over the stereo. Mine was the right front lower ball joint. Any movement would cause the squeak. Try turning the steering wheel side to side. That's the culprit if you hear the squeak. Due to snow and cold had a local shop do the repair to the tune of $600 which consisted of replacing the ball joint, outer tie rod and 4 wheel alignment.
     
  5. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    Take it from my experience...anything but good... Had a shop press in some moog problem solvers for my LBJ long story short ...I didn't heed the advice given by Joegr when he told me the aluminum knuckles/Spindles can be bent easy when under stress due to S shape design...better off just buying Movetech spindles/knuckles with new ball joints pressed in with right tooling...Amazon/ eBay will run you around $80-$90 each well worth avoiding the same trouble I had
     
  6. Imaskurfer2

    Imaskurfer2 New LVC Member

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    Went the Mevotech route on the left front ( under $70 at Rock Auto ) in October along with outer tie rod, sway bar end link, Moog bearing and upper control arm. After just a couple of months the lower ball joint already has some play.
     
  7. nghtshd88

    nghtshd88 Well-Known LVC Member

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    So what would be the correct way to press them in on the OEM arms? I would prefer to use Moog or a decent brand. Do the mevotech ones come complete?

    Ironically this front wheel also had issues with the rotor rubbing on the caliper bracket. However it seemed that the bracket itself was way too close to the outer rusty edges of the rotor compared to the others. Replaced them and its been gone since. Wondering though if maybe the arm is indeed bent and caused this joint to go bad prematurely..

    Thats disconcerning. I used their tierods on my mustang.

    S-Type black series are just the joints right?

    Yea really dont want to pay $600 for 1 wheel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  8. pragmatic

    pragmatic Dedicated LVC Member

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    I installed a new knuckle (can't remember the brand). The lower bolt would not hold torque. Every six months or so the steering wheel would start getting off center and I'd have to retorque the lower bolt. I finally replaced the nut and used locktite. A month or so later the steering wheel moved off center in the middle of a trip to Vermont. Going over a frost heave I suffered a failure of the lower joint and the front wheel collapsed. Had the local shop replace the knuckle with a Motorcraft knuckle. Total cost $1000 for the tow, parts and labor and a 1 week car rental so I could get home from skiing and back the next weekend to retrieve the LS.
     
  9. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    Just for the he record....I went Movetech and have had no problems...like anything in this world parts can fail...the lower ball joints are already pressed in the knuckle when you buy them...I torqued the nut to manufacture recommendations with no problem ...but if you want to go OEM by all means please do what you want...like I tell everyone....I can't see paying MotorCraft prices for a almost 18 year old car...but like all things in the world you usually get what you pay for ....guess I could chalk it up to luck that most of my aftermarket parts have held up
     
  10. nghtshd88

    nghtshd88 Well-Known LVC Member

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  11. BILLBOATS

    BILLBOATS Well-Known LVC Member

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  12. BILLBOATS

    BILLBOATS Well-Known LVC Member

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    Car shops on the west and east coast charge way higher costs than the mid west. I saw a bill for a nissan 200 sz 1986 brakes, no rotors new 600.00, pads, shoes and labor. You had no choices at that point having likely the car on its last leg
     
  13. BILLBOATS

    BILLBOATS Well-Known LVC Member

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    I has the same noise once and greasing stoped thew noise but still needed a b joint
     
  14. Marcus101

    Marcus101 Active LVC Member

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    What grease did you use? White Lithium Grease or just silicone spray?
     
  15. nghtshd88

    nghtshd88 Well-Known LVC Member

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    This ended up being my rear lower control arm..... changed the upper first and the noise went away until I hit some hard roads. Handling feels much better just with only one side even, however my alignment now is pretty off. Didnt think that would happen.. nor that a failed bushing could sound exactly the same as a bad joint, horrendous.
     
  16. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    That was my first instinct when you posted this I have to replace my LCA also just keep putting it off but thinking about purchasing the Eibach springs so looks like I'll be replacing them sooner than later ... The springs will lower my car so Ill be needing a whole suspension upgrade...by the way I would imagine if your rear LCA are dry rotted won't be long before the front will be needing replacement
     
  17. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    I don't think it's dry rot. They wear out.
     
  18. nghtshd88

    nghtshd88 Well-Known LVC Member

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    My front bushings arent bad at all, worn a bit im sure. All of my boots are shot on every compenent . The rear LCA's though looked horrible. Most notably the bushing closest to the differential is the one that looked the worst, caved in and shredded. I think the design puts the most stress on that one.
     
  19. Marcus101

    Marcus101 Active LVC Member

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    Going to mechanic tomorrow to get my squeaking sound checked out. I hope the bushings just need to be lubed up or I'll be dropping $400+ on control arms lol
     
  20. 112 LS

    112 LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Damn, I was just about to have a shop press in my moogs....
     
  21. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    Aluminum knuckles ....at your own risk but I would advise against it
     
  22. 112 LS

    112 LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Already bought the movetech's, guess I'll put these moogs up on ebay now. Thanks.
     
  23. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Dutch and others,

    The ball joints can be replaced separately without using a press, and is actually easier, but also a 2 man job after pulling the knuckle from the car, and the wheel hub from the knuckle.

    Tools needed:

    - A buddy, (preferably with torch experience if you dont have any)
    - Cutting torch with cutting head or "rosebud" tip
    - Welding gloves, (for you or the buddy)
    - Infared temp gun
    - A decent sized hammer
    - A vice, (4" minimum)
    - A bearing race driver tool, (with disc sized to ball joint diameter)
    - A gallon of hot as possible tap water

    Method:

    Put ball joint in freezer overnight, or minimum of 2 hours before you start the project. Heat the control arm up with the torch using a constantly moving motion around the ring of the knuckle where the ball joint is,,, and up towards where the hub bolts in. Monitor temperature with temp gun. The heat will crawl up the knuckle towards where the hub would be.

    When temp at ring around ball joint hits 400-450 degrees, and section between the joint and the hub hole hits 550-600 degrees,,, clamp the knuckle lightly in the vice... ball joint stud up,,, and lightly tap on stud of ball joint. It should just about drop out of the hole.

    Keep heat on the knuckle while the other person fetches the ball joint from the freezer,,, and the gallon of hot water. Now invert the knuckle and set it on the vice jaws spread with just enough room to clear the ball joint hole. Set the new ball joint in the hole,,, stud down, (away from the hub hole), and give it a tap with the race driver and hammer, (it might actually drop right in, but a couple taps will help seat it).

    If the ball joint gets cocked in the hole,,, don't try to force it in by tapping on it. Instead... tap it back out from the stud side and put it back in the freezer and wait about a half our and start heating the knuckle back up at that point.

    Once the ball joint is in and seated... then take it outside and start drizzling the hot water on it. Buy this time you will hear the aluminum going "tink, tink, tink" as it contracts around the ball joint. Pour the water slowly for about 10 seconds and then wait ten seconds. Repeat until water is gone.... and let cool at ambient temperature until able to be handled without gloves.

    What this does... is cool the knuckle slowly, (while protecting the ball joint from overheating), while at the same time warming the ball joint, (and keeping the ring that holds it... from cracking by cooling too quickly).

    Lastly,,, if using a cutting head... DON'T hit the lever! The cutting head alone will provide enough heat to heat up the knuckle.
     
  24. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    I should add that the Moogs seem to be best built to hold up to this method.
     
  25. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    On another note... the left rear lower control arm seems to go first, causing that horrible squeak. Consequence of most onramps/offramps being a "hard right",,, putting most of the pressure on that rear corner and tearing the boot that holds the grease in and the water out.

    It's possible to drill and tap for a grease fitting,,, but it's only temporary bfore that rear bushing fails to the point of being severely sloppy.
     

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